European Union is pretending to speak with one voice concerning Syrian atrocities while in reality division takes place.
The Division of EU member states’ voices
European member states reactions towards what is happening in Syria is different. France, Germany, and United States decided to close their embassies in Damascus. However, Denmark which holds EU presidency this year still has their ambassador there in Syria.
Michael Mann is the Chief Spokesperson to High Representative of the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and he is totally convinced that closing embassies or not is an individual decision and it depends of the country itself. His excuse to close down the embassies is “for security reasons” and EU cannot prevent any member state to be afraid of its ambassador.
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the UN General Assembly, thinks that “there is few countries that decide to close their embassy to put pressure on the Syrian government. The Syrian government decided to ask all their ambassadors of the EU to go back…”
Al-Nasser declines the fact that closing the embassy or not is important, but the most important thing form his own point of view is that the international community has a political problem regarding Russia and China.
“They should start solving the Syrian problem by trying to encourage the Russian and Chinese to come together in the Security Council and maybe this will result in different behavior and attitude by the Syrian government,” Al-Nasser added.
The division of voices comes when Hans-Gert Pöttering, MEP and former president of the European parliament, admit the fact that EU suffers from speaking with one voice concerning arbitrary killing, injury, detention and abuse of many peaceful protesters in Syria.
“Member states should coordinate their policy together because we need a strong government. I appreciate the border control, but we need more cooperation and should continue to have ever closer” Pöttering said.
Søren Schmidt who is a project researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies in Copenhagen agreed that there is a division and said that “it will be nice for international community to speak out with one voice because this would help to make a transition to a real democracy in the Middle East.”
Søren Bo Søndergaard who is from group of European United Left and a member of budget control committee thinks that EU is not really do actions for Syrians. He said “At least one European country has an embassy in Syria, and Denmark has two oppositional elements inside Syria through Danish constitution in Damascus.” Søndergaard thinks that if there is a one country which should stay, it would be Denmark because it does not have a big power and interest in Syria.
“Of course, EU member states should have opened borders for Syrian people fleeing from Syria; they should have supported the Kurds. There are a lot of things which can be done but I omit that it will not be something which can solve the problem in a short run.” Søndergaard added.
The road of Democracy in Syria
According to European External Action Service website, EU calls upon al-Assad to resign immediately and to allow the Syrian people to realize their aspiration for democracy. On the contrary, Al-Nasser said that, “While Kofi Atta Annan visited Syria last week; His mission is not an easy one because Syrian regime is not responding to his proposal.”
The idea of foreign military intervention has been debated because many people see it is urgent to invade Syria and save Syrians form al-Assad, and others do not believe so. Pöttering implied that EU does not decide whether to invade Syria or not unless it goes back to Arab League. If Arab League demands that, then they will have strong arguments.
Pöttering stated that EU tries to find peaceful solution because al-Assad calls the opposition just terrorists. There may be some terrorists, but the main part of the opposition want to live in democracy.
“Military interference is very difficult and who should do it. I think President Obama will not do it because he has elections and everything connected. But it might be necessary to give weapons to the opposition, in order to protect themselves.” Pöttering added.
Schmidt thinks that Syria’s catastrophe will not be solve unless democracy is built in the Middle East through solving Palestinian Israeli conflict and Western Iranian conflict.
Syrians has different opinions regarding al-Assad’s regime
Hassan Sam Arslan who is a Syrian entrepreneur and he is living now in Egypt thinks that dictatorship in Syria was so extreme.” People disappeared a lot of times for no reason, more than 60 percent are living below the poverty line which is one of the worst economies in the world and freedom is all what we have,” Arslan added
Arslan implied that EU is not doing that much towards Syrians and he suggests military interference, because “history shows that this regime reached power through violence and the only way to remove it is by violence. Another reason is that the regime will not leave the country unless it faced a higher power like turkey or the U.S.”
On the contrary, Wael Qatma who is Syrian and studies at University of science and technology thinks that what’s happening in Syria is a conspiracy against Syrian people. He is pro al-Assad regime because first of all, medical care, education, and other services are free. Second of all, the alternative is going to be worse because he is coming depend on his loyalty to other countries not to Syria”
Qatma stated that most of the people are receiving their information from Western media which is not totally true. “Western media know how to shape their mind and how to make the entire world against one regime,” he added.